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PR and more.
Whats the point.
ncsuk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13922 posted 1:03 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay everyone I have decided that I post enough on this but remain anonymous and dont say anything too exciting etc so I thought I would give some feedback / the lowdown about PR its values, principles and its uses / non uses.

So here goes, this may take some time to write so if anyone answers I maybe on the floor having a snooze so you better excuse me.

Whats is a PR

For anyone out there who is new to webmasterworld or infact the internet you will here a lot of people on these forums and other forums / newsites / newsgroups etc etc talking about its pro's, con's and general uses. Most people generally wimp and gripe about the value they have and why it should be higher. In reality if you actually sit down and look at the PR bar for long enough it will vanish into a blur and this is where and how most people should see it.

The PR value is basically an "estimate" of the value and weight of the pages held within a website. This is worked out by Google using a set of "complex algorithums" which are derived from a sites keyword density, links, strcuture and much much more. Unfortunatly in reality it is not very hard to get a site good rankings for just about any keyword or phrases despite popular belief. Of course you can cloak, spam and cheat your way to the top but we dont want to do that here. Now assuming I built a website and got it number 1 in 3 months for say vehicle finance what would my PR value be? Assuming the site has only been up 3 months at a guess I would put it between the PR 3-5 level.

This is where most people start to get worried and confused.

My site is a white bar after 3 months, whats wrong?

My site is only PR 2 and I have 70 pages indexed

These are just a couple of summed up comments that I have seen over the last few weeks from random posters on WebmasterWorld. What in reality you should be asking yourself is.

  • Do I have listings for my targeted keywords / phrases?
  • Am I getting traffic despite my PR being so low?
  • Am I ranking higher than my competitors?
  • Am I getting any sales in?

    Thats just a small list and im sure I could go on forever and list many more things...

    One thing you have to remember about a PR is that it is also not 100% accurate. This can be for a variety of reasons like the fact Google didnt pick up 100 links I added last month or the fact it crawled when you where uploading a whole new site and therefore half the site is missing. Personally I may take a look at the PR value of the site but it only weighs about 10% on any decision I would make.

    The general concensus for what a PR is? If I had to sum it up in one sentence it would read.

    Pagerank is a mathematical figure determined from multiple factors is give an "approximate" figure for the value and weight that a site holds in Google's index

    Analyse that sentence as you see fit but take a close look at the last section of the sentence.

    in Google's index

    Says it all really...

    In my years of using the internet I have seen many ways of determining how good a site is. For example I have seen some PR 7 sites that are about as pleasing to the eye as Margaret Thatcher. What good is your PR value if your site looks like a big steamer...!

    Well that is not an easy question to answer. If you are a technical webmaster or someone who uses the internet on a regular basis then you may come to a site and if it functions badly or looks awful then almost straight away you leave. We all may so we dont but its true, I am an absolute pain for it and if there is a problem with a site usually I dont even bother to tell the webmaster. And is is where my next point comes from.

    If the site looks so bad where has the PR come from?

    The answer to that question is basically,

  • Site Content
  • Inbound Links
  • Link Popularity

    From that list you can see mainly the things which are used by webmaster to optimize sites. We all know that "content is king" and that we "must submit to dmoz" and then someone comes out with "but how does this affect our PR?".

    My instant response? Who cares... My main website at present has a grand total of 3 inbound links, is not in dmoz, has a PR of 4 and sits happily in the the 5 for about 80% of my keywords. In retrospect this is exactly the same place I was at 4 months ago when my site had a PR of GREY BAR. That is about all I need to say on the matter. As long as your site is optimized, you are getting traffic and you are happy does it matter. I would go as far as to say that a good PR value is like an Armani Suit. The guy in it maybe butt ugly but he would still pull all the women. We are a lot more like sheep than we think we are.

    My next point of note is about what we could do to improve the PR value and actually make it useable...

    My suggestion would be to separate the bits out so we have a bit more of a dashboard. For example there should be;

  • Total PR value
  • Link Popularity
  • Content Value
  • Visitor popularity

    This would enable us to see and have a clearer understanding of what the site is like.

    For example a post earlier this morning was related to a site that has a PR of 7 and the reason for it is that it has a ton of inbound links because the site / owners / products are below standard. Obviously we could check this manually by going in and doing link:www.widgets.com etc etc but Joe Surfer is not

  • a. going to know about it
  • b. going to do it
  • c. going to care

    If the toolbar was separated like this then it could possibly read.

  • Total PR value = 7
  • Link Popularity = 10
  • Content Value = 2
  • Visitor popularity = 2

    Why would it be like this and how would we look at it.

    Well on the basis it has a link pop / inbound link value of 7 but a visitor pop of 2 then this could tell us that there must be something wrong with the site that would prevent people from visiting.

    Im not going to go deeper into that conversation as it would benefit nobody.

    SUMMARY

    There isnt one really, its all a matter of opinion. Its a pre calcualted algarithmic number generatic on average once a month and therefore is never as up to date as we need it so we do you put so much trust in it?

    Questions on a postcard please.

  •  

    EarWig

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 1:49 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    ncsuk

    Great stuff - helps me understand a lot more now than I did before your posting. We all learn a little more each day.:-)

    EW

    IanTurner

    WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 1:58 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Nice post ncsuk.

    Unfortunately having PR is just like having a well dressed Spiv as a salesman. It gets results, if you're getting sales and generating income that is the main thing.

    If the snake oil you are selling is no good then, with your income you can spend on R&D to improve the product. (No sales = no income = no product improvement) We have all seen the amazing improvements that can be made when a product takes off - the early versions of Dreamweaver could hardly have been described as quality products, innovative maybe but nowadays the Dreamweaver product is much more reliable and behaves as you would expect it to. I don't think that would have happened without the sales volume.

    It has always been the case that good marketing can make or break a company. That is as true on the web as it ever was in the bricks and mortar world, maybe even more so.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:13 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Hope you found it informative...

    (Was going to say useful then but that would of been wrong)

    I think we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves if pagerank means anything to us.

    Netizen

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:21 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    As far as I understand it, that is not how PageRank is calculated. It is not an estimate - it is a definite value based on a mathmatical algorithm. PageRank essentially tries to put a value on the popularity of a page based on how many pages link to it, and the popularity of those pages themselves. This is a complex, iterative process, hence the long time between Google updates.

    There are any number of forum threads, web pages, real world scientific papers, etc, on this subject.

    The way it is calculated is probably undergoing a major change (considering a number of recent posts) so we should all keep our heads down :-)

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:27 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    It is an estimate because Googles data is never up to date. Also remember that something calculated by the number of click throughs and links cannot be separated into good and bad by a algorithum because it has no way of telling what the site is link unless the anchor text says.

    "C*** service"

    And the like.

    It is a preciese estimate I understand what you are saying but still it is an estimate.

    Netizen

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:44 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    True, Google only samples the current state of the web, so in that sense it is an estimate. The PageRank calculation doesn't include click throughs, just links, and yes, as is currently being discussed in another thread, links can be for good or bad reasons, although I wouldn't link to a site that I thought was poor.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:49 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Thats a different topic of conversation however which is in the other thread.

    Topic of this one I suppose should read.

    "Why do people rely on the PR section of the Google toolbar so much?"

    Netizen

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:12 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Or..."why do webmasters rely on the PR in the Google toolbar so much"

    Answer: because we like to feel loved.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:13 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Someone hold him down ill call the men in white jackets.

    BigDave

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:25 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    The PR value is basically an "estimate" of the value and weight of the pages held within a website. This is worked out by Google using a set of "complex algorithums" which are derived from a sites keyword density, links, strcuture and much much more.

    Nope, this is wrong.

    PR is a simple iterative algorithm that is calculated ONLY using the links coming in to your page from other pages, and their PR values. It has nothing to do with keyword density, structure or anything else. Links from other pages on the same site count the same as links from other sites.

    Otherwise, I agree with much of your post, you should be concentrating more on the numbers that count, not on the little green bar.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:26 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Humm why exactly do I have a site then with a PR 6 and no backlinks.

    cjtripnewton

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:37 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    You don't.

    <added - not to be snippy>

    You have a site. That we can agree on without your providing any evidence, for the sake of discussion. You also have a Google toolbar which is telling you that your site has a PR of 6. The toolbar is acting really erratically right now. Yesterday, Macromedia had no PageRank on my toolbar for a few hours. It's anyone's guess what your site's PageRank is. It's also anyone's guess whether your site really does have backlinks or not. If the site is brand new, then it's possible that the green bar you're seeing is an estimate, or even that it's stuck from the last site you visited. If the site has been around for some time, then it's probable that there are back links that you can't find. Try searching for them on other search engines. At any rate, don't rely on the data you're getting from the toolbar right now.

    THe site in your profile is showing a PR of 4 on my toolbar right now, and the backlinks function in the toolbar finds 3 sites linking to yours.

    [edited by: cjtripnewton at 4:44 pm (utc) on June 4, 2003]

    Marc_P

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:41 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

    PR is a simple iterative algorithm that is calculated ONLY using the links coming in to your page from other pages, and their PR values. It has nothing to do with keyword density, structure or anything else. Links from other pages on the same site count the same as links from other sites.

    I agree. It is my understanding of PR that it calculated solely from the PR of pages that link to a file as well as the quantity of those links (how many and how good they are).

    Also, I think the Google Toolbar will only show backward links for sites that have PR4 or more (or something like that). It is entirely possible to get tons of links from PR3 sites pointing to one page to give it a PR of 6 - although I suppose you would need quite a few such links!

    IanTurner

    WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 2:12 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Or for the more practical PR is increased by good quality (high PR) inbound links.

    The higher your PR the better your performance in SERPs (I don't think the WHY comes into it or the complextiies of the algorithm).

    Okay thats not quite true - but its pretty effective.

    John_Creed

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:08 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Generally those who try to devalue the importance of PR either have a very high PR, or a very low one.

    If your site has a higher PR than your compitition, than you have an advantage over them. PR is not simply a "tie breaker" as some like to claim.

    The reason people obsess over PR is because it's on the toolbar. If Google ever gave us access to monitoring any other important aspect of their algo, we'd be obsessing over that too.

    I agree. People should worry more about sales and how well they're doing in the serps and less about PR.

    But I get the feeling that people obsessing over their PR are already *not* doing as well as they'd like.

    Kirby

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 3:39 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Humm why exactly do I have a site then with a PR 6 and no backlinks.

    It is possible thru proper architecture to create a PR6 with few if any incoming links.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 9:54 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Of course it is, a PR value is basically the relevance of a website if you have relative text and no inbound links Google is still going to know where the site is coming from and will give it a PR accordingly.

    Whoever mention the site in my profile, that is the site with a PR6. I can appreciate the importance as you have mentioned in relation to backlinks coming in. The site in my profile last month for example was PR5 with 130 backlinks, now its PR4 with 3 backlinks.

    Sure I will agree that backlinks form an integral part of the PR algo however to say that links are the only thingt that form a PR is absolute nonsence. I think people really need to open their eyes sometimes and research on things without believing what everyone else says. I think I mention sheep so again I will reiterate it.

    dont follow the crowd they are not always right

    Netizen

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:07 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Ummm, not as I understand it. If your page has no inbound links it will have no PR as Google won't find it. The Google toolbar will estimate a PR for an unknown page based on the PR of the root web site.

    Are you absolutely sure there are no links to the page in question? Even if Google doesn't show backlinks there are probably some - backlinks are rumoured to be only coming from PR 4 pages and above.

    steve128



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:18 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >>Of course it is, a PR value is basically the relevance of a website if you have relative text and no inbound links Google is still going to know where the site is coming from and will give it a PR accordingly<<

    Then how does google find the site in the first place, does googlebot get lost stumbles around a bit, land on the page by magic.
    "hey this is a good page, I think I'll give it 6"?..or maybe 7

    europeforvisitors



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:22 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Sure I will agree that backlinks form an integral part of the PR algo however to say that links are the only thingt that form a PR is absolute nonsence.

    Google indexes pages, not sites. For any given page, an "inbound link" or "backlink" can be a link from one of your own pages, not just a link from another site.

    steve128



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:24 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    The site in profile shows 1300 links?

    One good way to prove your "niche ideas" would be to create another site, with absolutely no links in whatsoever... we can then wait and see. -;

    heini

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:25 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >It is possible thru proper architecture to create a PR6 with few if any incoming links

    No. It is not possible. PR has nothing to do with relevance, with content, architecture or anything.
    It's simply the value of the links pointing to your site. Nothing else.

    Most of this thread completely confuses real PR with what the toolbar shows, and with what Google shows as backlinks. The toolbar PR is a very rough represenation of real PR, and often it's totally off sync with real PR.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 12:53 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I have 2 sites with no links to them and I will not add any and we shall see what they are like in 3 months then :)

    doc_z

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 1:14 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    It is possible thru proper architecture to create a PR6 with few if any incoming links.

    No. It is not possible. PR has nothing to do with relevance, with content, architecture or anything.
    It's simply the value of the links pointing to your site. Nothing else.

    Indeed, PR nothing to do with relevance or with content, but is has to do with the link structure and number of pages on your site.

    Theoretically, (asuming that the original PR calculation with a damping factor of 0 < d < 1 is still valid) you can create a PR6 page with few incoming (low PR) links (by adding a very large number of internal pages). However, in practice it won't work.

    cjtripnewton

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 1:54 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >>I have 2 sites with no links to them and I will not add any and we shall see what they are like in 3 months then :)

    ncsuk, if you're using the Google toolbar information to conclude that your two sites don't have any links pointing to them, then you're not understanding how the toolbar works. Before you perform your experiment, search for links to your two sites on AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Inktomi. If you are unable to find any links pointing to either of your two sites, then there is a good chance that there are none. Still, there's a chance that you just can't find them.

    Read one of the Stanford papers and you'll conclude that PR is determined by links, as have everyone here who has read them.

    PS, if your 2 sites are showing up in the search results, you're probably too late to perform the experiment. There most likely are links out there somewhere. Still, we have had sites indexed by Google that had never been submitted anywhere and were under construction and only visited by ourselves, the developers - implicating the toolbar.

    BigDave

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 4:30 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I think people really need to open their eyes sometimes and research on things without believing what everyone else says.

    Oh my, this sure does sound like a good idea. In fact it is one that I often suggest to peopole who obvioulsy haven't researched it and insist that content or site structure can "create" high PR. (site structure can help direct the PR that you have, but it does not create it)

    You can start with this one
    [hci.stanford.edu...]

    Google does care about the content, but the only way that content influences PageRank is by making it easier to get incoming links.

    doc_z

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 8:59 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    According to the original papers, every page 'create' a real PR of 1. (For simplicity I'm leaving out the case d=1 and neglecting dead ends.) Therefore, creating pages will produce PR. This 'self produced' PR can be distributed over the site (and other pages/sites if there are outgoing links). Depending on the link structure, PR can be distrubuted either equally or in a way that a few pages are mainly benefitting. In the first case you won't increase the PR for a page on your site. If you chose a link structure of the latter case, you can create a few high PR page by adding a very large number of pages. Since the ToolbarPR scale is logarithmic, you have to increase the number of pages in an exponential way to increase the ToolbarPR linearly. Obviously, this isn't very feasible.

    However, in pratice even this doesn't seem to work. The other practical problem is that Google probably won't spider the whole site as long as it has only low PR.

    WebGuerrilla

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 9:33 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    it is possible thru proper architecture to create a PR6 with few if any incoming links.

    Point #1. There is a huge difference between a few links and none.

    Point #2. The original PR formula was from 1998. It is now 2003. So even if the original version allowed PR to be generated soley from internal links, that doesn't mean it still works that way.

    Point #3. Over the past year or so, I've heard several Google employees talk about reducing the significance of internal linking. I'll bet anyone here a beer at the next PubCon that when the "new and improved" version of Google is released, internal links will become almost a non-factor.

    ncsuk

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 13922 posted 9:43 pm on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Trust me there are no links to them I bought the domains last week.

    This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: 55 ( [1] 2 > >
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